India's Third Communist Party

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India's Third Communist Party Author(s): Marcus F. Franda Reviewed work(s): Source: Asian Survey, Vol. 9, No. 11 (Nov., 1969), pp. 797-817 Published by: University of California Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 26/11/2011 07:35 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and studen
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  India's Third Communist PartyAuthor(s): Marcus F. FrandaReviewed work(s):Source: Asian Survey, Vol. 9, No. 11 (Nov., 1969), pp. 797-817Published by: University of California Press Stable URL: Accessed: 26/11/2011 07:35 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact University of California Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to  AsianSurvey.  INDIA'STHIRDCOMMUNIST ARTY MARCUSF. FRANDA On May Day, 1969. ongprocessions ended heirwaythroughthestreets f Calcutta nd eventuallyssembled nthe arge open spaceintheenter ftheitywhich s known sthemaidan.Acrowdofmore han10,000peopleheard hefollowingtatementy KanuSanyal,he eaderofthe Communistartyf ndia(Marxist-Leninist),rCPML,India'sthirdcommunistarty.Withreat ridendboundlessoywish o announceodayt thismeetinghatwe haveformedgenuineommunistarty-the Com-munist artyfndia (Marxist-Leninist) . .Our Partywas formedonamemorableayofthenternationalommunist ovement-the 100th irthdayf he reat enin.When urPartywasborn, he istoricNinth ationalongressfhegreatommunistartyfChinawasnsession nder hepersonal uidance fChairman ao Tse-tung. feelproudhathetask of making hishistoric nnouncementasbeengivenome. firmlyelieve hat hegreat ndianpeoplewillwarmly welcomehisvent, ill ealise heormationf hisartys anhistoricstep orwardorhe ndian evolution,nd will come orwardo raisethe truggleoahighertage nder he eadershipftheParty.' The CMPL is madeup almost xclusivelyfpeoplewhohavebroken withtheCommunistarty f ndia (Marxist),orCPM,which ad split romheregularommunistartyof India (CPI) in 1964. Even thoughmostofIndia's communistsre still rganizedwithin heCPI and CPM (claiming combinedmembershipf morethan200,000),the CPML has alreadybe-comesignificantolitical orce n several ndian tates. he newpartyasattracted membershiphat s estimated t twenty r thirtyhousand;heIndian HomeMinister as been seeking dditional owers o deal witht;andthewostablishedommunistartieshave viewedheCPML asbothapoliticalnddeological hallenge.The formationfathirdommunistartyaisesa numberfquestionsofparticularelevanceothose nterestedn theoperation fndia'spolitical system,henaturef ndiancommunism,ndtherelationshipf ndiansothe nternationalommunistovementndtointernationalolitics.Whataretheactorshat edtothe ormationfathird ommunistartyn ndia?What stheCPMLseekingoaccomplishnd how doesithope toachieve 1The fulltext ofKanuSanyal'sMay Day address isreprintednLiberation (PartyOrganoftheCPML),Vol.II,No.7(1969),pp.110-122.Thequotationstakenfromp. 119 ofthis publishedtext of theaddress.797  798INDIA'S THIRD COMMUNISTPARTY it's goals? How do India's three ommunistarties nteractnewithn-other?What s the ikely mpact fa third ommunist arty nregional,national, nd internationaloliticaldevelopments? he following ssayseekstofurnishentativenswers o thesequestions,n such awayas toprovide n overview or hosenterestednmoredetailed esearch. SOURCES OF LEADERSHIP RECRUITMENT The communist ovementn Indiahas been ed by essentiallyhe sameleadership or hepast three ecades.The main portion f thiseadership,whichad oined the CPI in the ailsand colleges n the 1930's and early1940's, was drawn rom amilies frelatively igh status.Whenthe CPI held t's first artyCongressn 1943,more han wo-thirdsf the delegatesto theconference92 of 139) listedthemselvess landlords, raders,rmembers f the ntelligentsia, hilelmost alfof the delegates ad col-lege degrees nd more han90% (126of 139) had been tocollegeforatleast year.2hemorehighly ducatedmong his eadership ere ttractedto communismy thewritingsfJawaharlalehru,Rabindranath agore,R. PalmeDutt,HaroldLaski,Johntrachey,nd otherMarxistwriters, ndmany fthem ad established ontactsver heyearswith he eadershipf European ocialist nd communistovements.3hose who acked collegedegreesweregenerally rawn romheformererroristroups r fromheCongress ocialist organization,men whohad initiallybandonedtheireducationo takepart n the organizationf resistance o theBritish.heintellectualsn the ndian communistovementererecruitednIndianandEuropean collegesanduniversities;heorganizationaleaderswererecruitedntheails.4Whenhis eadershipoined theCPI inthe ate1930'sandearly940's trepresentednewgenerationn ndianpolitics:lmost0%ofthedelegatestotheFirstPartyCongressn1943wereessthan35yearsnage.5 Subse-quently, owever,hese eoplemanaged o retain heir ontrolfthemain-streamof the IndianCommunistmovementnly by excludingeadersyoungerhan hemselvesromhemostprominent ositionsn the move-ment.Theextentowhichtheolder, pre-Independenceeadershipnowdominates he Centralxecutiveommitteesfboth heCPIandCPM isindicatedytheverage ge of the CPI Centralecretariat, hichnFeb-ruary,968 wasjustover60,andbythefacthat llbutoneof theninemembersfheCPI Centralecretariataveheldparty eadership ositions 2Figuresorthefirstarty Congressofthe CPIaretaken fromeople'sWar,Vol.II(June 13,1943), p.1and ibid.,August 1,1943,p.8.'TheintellectualackgroundfIndian communismstracedoutinSibnarayanRay, India:Intellectualsnd RuralProblems, Leopold Labedz(ed.),Revisionism:EssaysontheHistory fMarxist deas (London:George AllenandUnwin,1962), pp.374-386.'SeemyforthcomingolumeonBengaliCommunismor ananalysisofrecruitmentpatternsmong ndiancommunists n WestBengal:ThePhenomenon ofLeftism nWestBengal,MIT, 1970.'People'sWar,June13, 1943,p.1.  MARCUS F. FRANDA799 sincehe1940's.6imilarly,heverage ge oftheninemembers fthe CPMPolitbureau,n January, 969was ust under 0 and all ninemembersadbeen activeCommunisteadersn the1940's.7The Chairman f theCPI (S.A. Dange) was born n 1899and the General ecretary f the CPM(P.Sundarayya)was born n1913.Incontrast o the two olderCommunist arties, he CPML is ledbyaconsiderably oungereadership. he Chairman f the new party,KanuSanyal,was born n 1932. Theoldestmember f the CPMLPolitbureau sthe party heoretician,haruMajumdar,who was born n 1920, butevenhe s younger han ll membersf heCentral xecutive ommitteesfboth theCPIand CPM.8 It isobvious,herefore,hat he CPML'sPolitbureaumembersre considerablyounger han those n the CentralExecutiveCommitteesf both he CPIand CPM. Moreover, he eadership fthoseagitationalmovementsnwhich heCPML has been nvolved ave alsobeendominated y menofthegenerationf Kanu Sanyal,who became ctivenIndian politics fterndependence. one of theknownCPMLleadershave everheldparty ositions t thenational evel,ndindeedveryewofthemhave even had experiencenstate eadership ositions, uthave insteadbeen drawn rom arty ommitteest the district nd branch evelsofthemovement.nlargeparthemotivationorheformationf theCPML canbeexplainedn terms fthefrustrationsxperienced ythis ower evelofIndiancommunisteadershipn it's attemptso rise withinhemovement.Therevoltfyoungerndiancommunisteadersbeganto assumeignifi-cant proportionsn the early1960's, whenmanypartymembers ecamedisenchanted ith he eventsurroundinghe splitbetween heCPIandCPM.9Theyoungereadershipfthe ndiancommunist ovementadbeenrecruitedfterndependence,hrough ommunistartymassorganizationsandculturalrontroups, ndit's contributionsothe movementhrough-out the 1950's had beenconfined lmost xclusively o electoral olitics.By the early1960's,however,numberfyounger eaders hadbecome 'Themembers ftheCentral Secretariat of the CPIare listedin New4ge(CPIWeekly),February5, 1968,p.6. Informationntheninemembers-S. A.Dange,C.RajeswaraRao,BhupeshGupta,YogindraSharma,N. K.Krishnan,S. G.Sardesai, C.AchuthaMenon,Avtar SinghMalhotra, and Bhowani Sen-wasgatheredfromWho'sWho,Legislativebiographies,ewspaperclippings,personalinterviews,nd fromthebiographicalketchesfurnished nGene D.Overstreet ndMarshallWindmiller,om-munismnIndia(Berkeley:University fCaliforniaPress,1959), pp.556-575.'Members oftheCPMPolitbureau-P.Sundarayya,B. T.Ranadive,M.Basavapun-niah, E.M. S.Namboodiripad,ramodeDasGupta, JyotiBasu,P.Ramamurti,Harki-shanSinghSurjeet,and A. K.Gopalan-arelistedinPeople'sDemocracy:OrganoftheCPM,January 2,1969,p. 1.Biographical dataon theCPMwasobtained fromhesamesource asthoseisted nfootnote .8Whilebiographicaldataonleadersofthe CPMLisnotreadilyavailable,somein-sightnto thenaturef theeadership anbegained fromatindranathChakravorti,AParty isBorn, Now:APoliticalandCulturalWeekly(Calcutta),June 6,1969,pp.8.10and June13, 1969, pp.9-11.Data onCPMLleaderswasalsogatheredfromnews-paper clippingsndpersonalnterviews.9Annner-partyescriptionf theactivities ftheyoungereadershipnWestBengaliscontained nTheGrowth fAdventurismn WestBengal:CentralCommitteenforma-tion Document (Calcutta:Communistarty ofIndiaMarxist, 1967).
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